The Answer Is On The Way

BGod has heardefore the age of computers and word processors, some of us actually used a pen or pencil to write on paper.  I often wrote lists, notes and reminders on note pads, and I was one who pressed hard when I wrote.  I remember writing down a name and address once, tearing off the page, but somehow losing it.  Desperately needing that address, I cried; I prayed; I hunted; I panicked, but to no avail.  Days later as I sat down at my desk, I picked up my note pad and noticed indentation that resembled writing.  With a pencil in hand, I began to lightly color over the words and there was the address appearing before my very eyes!  I had forgotten about it and moved on, but the address was there all the time.  It just not been revealed yet.

How often when we pray do we experience the same thing!   Life situations present themselves, and we need answers.  We cry!  We pray! We panic!  We wait!  Heaven seems to be deaf to our cries.   Yet from the moment we prayed, God prepared an answer.  He has not forgotten those things for which we have prayed.  He has not forgotten our pain.  He has not forgotten our sorrow.  He has not forgotten our loneliness.  He has not forgotten that the rent must be paid.  He has not forgotten that which concerns us.  God had it on the tablet of his heart the whole time, and just like the words on my note pad, His answer will appear.  He will reveal Himself.

Delay and timing don’t often make sense to us, but this I know – God’s character can be trusted.  Beloved child of God, He has heard your prayers, and the answer is on the way. Just think – this could be the day that it appears before your eyes.

“God will perfect everything that concerns you.” (Psalm 138:8, NKJV)

Getting Over the Emotional Hump

you_are_healed_and_made_whole__by_ah_nee_may_nee_yak-d5arw44I have been dealing with so many hurting people – people who are wounded or  in despair.  God cares very much and wants to empower you to get over the emotional hump.  Let faith arise as you pray this for yourself on a regular basis:

Heavenly Father, please help me to learn to live by faith and not by emotions.  Thank you that life is not devoid of emotion, but may I not base my life on how I feel.  Lord, emotions are fleeting but faith will stand the test of time.  Father, heal me from being held back because of negative emotions as a result of mistreatment at the hands of another, or the unfairness of life.  I pray that You will heal guilt, despair, rejection, hatred, resentment, hopelessness and bitterness.

I choose to release these painful emotions, often crippling emotions.  Let me arise in faith and allow you to fill the empty spaces with Your love, Your peace, Your joy, Your acceptance, and the powerful presence of Your Holy Spirit.

With my mouth I proclaim truth:  I belong to Jesus Christ, the strong Son of God.  I am an overcomer. I am more than a conqueror.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I am part of your divine plan.  God, you have plans to prosper me and to give me a good future and hope. I think on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. I think on these things.

I declare that I am accepted by You, and I thank You that the favor of God goes before me into this day, this week,  this month and year, creating divine appointments, connections and relationships for me.

I declare this in the Name of Jesus, Amen!

When Will There Be Any Good News?

VF01“I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness, while I am here in the land of the living.”  Psalm 27:13

I spend very little time listening to the “news” which really should be called the “olds.”  It’s the same old junk!  In the midst of all of that we are hearing and seeing, I agree with the Psalmist–I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

I am happy to report there is good news!  There are people today who are making a decision to trust Christ as Lord and Savior.  There are people rejoicing because they have been miraculously healed of disease.  There are still many couples in love with each other after years of being together.  People are being set free to live healthy lives because they have learned how to forgive!  There are babies who will grow up to be great leaders of God because their mothers chose to give them life!

Yes, I can see God’s goodness in the land of the living.  There’s more!

There are many people who are giving money to help the homeless and the hungry.  Dream Centers are springing up all over this nation to reach those who have been labeled as the unreachable.  Ministries are helping to free women who have been imprisoned by sex slavery.  Many are walking out of a past of sexual abuse and into the wholeness offered by God.  There are men discipling young men who have no father figure in their lives.  People in horrible circumstances are seeing God make a way where there seems to be no way.

How do I know these things?  Because in the last several months, I have personally witnessed all of these things happening!  Praise God that I can see Good News in a land that is continually concentrating on bad news.  I can see God’s goodness in the land of the living.  Rejoice! There is good news!  The Spirit of God is at work today!

And the best news of all … Jesus Christ will return as Lord and King, and those who have accepted Him as Savior will live with Him forever!  I will be so glad to see Him. That is good news!

When will there be any good news?  There already is!

Diet Coke and Baked Lay’s

Baked laysMy friend Susan (name changed) and I walk together on a regular basis.  She is young enough to be my daughter but I cherish our time together.  We share the things of the Lord and Susan is eager to pick my brain and truly wants to follow God.  When we first began walking together, things were pretty good in Susan’s life.  Then suddenly, the storm began to blow against my friend.  She lost her job and her husband’s income was limited.  She was given a six-month severance and we just knew God would give her another job within that period, but that did not happen.

I have grown to love Susan and she shares much of her life with me.  As they faced financial challenges, Susan began to cut back to the bare necessities.  She is trusting God but also using wisdom in how the family spends money.  In one of our conversations while walking, Susan told me that she had stopped buying Diet Coke and Baked Lay’s potato chips. The money just could not be spared.  I know that seems like a small thing compared to wondering how you will make the house payment and pay the utilities, but it touched my heart.

Susan has been at my group the last two Wednesdays and she was glad when I gave her a Diet Coke as she walked through the door!  Last week we shared with the group, with laughter, how she wasn’t even buying Diet Coke or Baked Lay’s.

While shopping yesterday afternoon,  I saw that Diet Coke was on sale.  Into my heart jumped a desire to buy Susan some Diet Coke and Baked Lay’s.  I was so excited.  I checked out and got home only an hour before people would start arriving for group.  As I unloaded my groceries I was so disappointed – I forgot the Baked Lay’s.  There was no time to go back to the store.  Lord, I so wanted her to know you cared about little things.  You are the God who gives us little surprises!

The group members began to arrive one by one.  One member, Tommye, came in and said, “Hey, I bought Susan some Baked Lay’s.  I wanted her to have her Baked Lay’s!”  My jaw dropped!  Susan walked in and we gave her Diet Coke and Baked Lay’s and she smiled from ear to ear.

I love it when God has big surprises for us, but how sweet when He sends a little surprise along just to let us know He’s thinking about us and hears our cries.  It is truly a miracle that the God of the universe pays attention to our tiny, little lives with His loving care.  To think He took time to speak to two different women to bring something to a group, so He could just say to one of his daughters facing turmoil, “I’ve  been thinking about you and I’ve got a surprise for you!”

It’s not always big and showy, but it is no less a miracle when the God of the universe chooses to show us His kindness.  God has heard your cries, my brothers and sisters.  God is thinking about you and He just might surprise you!

“How precious is your loving kindness, O God!” – Psalm 36:7

Mixed Emotions on Mother’s Day

It’s Mother’s Day weekend and it’s a mixed bag.  I, along with several friends, have lost a child.  I  have one friend who lost two sons, one just a few months ago.  That is tough stuff.    Mixed bagThe loss of Bryan was just last year and it is still so palatable.    In a discussion with friends who have experienced the death of a child, I found that some feel guilty because they think they should be very joyous this weekend, yet they are also battling sorrow.  I say you can feel both!

Sorrow and grief are very heavy emotions.  Joy is a light-hearted emotion.  If you are presently experiencing both and could literally place them on a scale, side by side, sorrow will weigh the joy down.  It does not mean joy is not present but the heaviness weighs on it.    I am feeling that on this Mother’s Day.  Yet, I feel so much joy when it comes to Michael and Stephen and their families.  I feel such joy when it comes to Bryan’s family.   The grandchildren bring a big smile to my face and heart.  Oh how my heart beats for the grandchildren!

I am told by those who have walked this journey longer than I have that it does get better – not that you won’t still miss that child – but it does get better.  Thank God for that hope. Thank God for babies being born and new joys filling our hearts.  Thank God for joy in the midst of sorrow.

I can testify that God renews our strength.  He restores us.   The pain of this day will one day give way to the promise and hope of that which is to come.  The day is coming when tears will flow with joy instead of sadness, and all our questions of “why” will fade away in the presence of the Lord.  We will have a great reunion with those whom we love, who have died knowing the Lord.  Oh glorious day!

Help! I Need Somebody

Help I need somebody

My husband dreads the words, “It’s time to re-do a room!”   I feel it’s a commandment of God that I yearly re-do at least one room in the house, and I surely want to obey God!   After redoing our living room, I had to start looking for a rug to pull all the colors together.  Alas, I found a rug and got it at a great price!   It was the perfect finishing touch!

Recently, our grandson Joseph was spending an afternoon with us.  Once babies get mobile they generally don’t want you to just sit and hold them, so Joseph was roaming the house and I was following.   We put toys on the rug in the living room and Joseph began to play with them.  Then he stopped and made his way to the corner of the rug and began to pick at something. Since I did not want him to put any foreign objects in his mouth, I went over to see what he had found.  Joseph had found the plastic attachment that had originally held the price tag on the rug.  That attachment had been there over a year and I had never seen it.  I quickly removed it!  Joseph and I have a loving, trusting relationship and he helped me to see what I could not see for myself.

I could start pontificating and sermonizing here, but I won’t.  Simply ponder this question:  who do you have in your life that shows you the things you cannot or will not see for yourself?

It was Howard Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, who said, “Every Christian should have three individuals in their life: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.”

A Paul is an older person who is willing to mentor you, to help build your life. Not someone who’s smarter or more gifted than you, but somebody who’s been down the road. Somebody willing to share their strengths and weaknesses—everything he/she has learned in the laboratory of life. Somebody whose faith you’ll want to imitate.

A Barnabas is a soul brother, somebody who loves you but is not impressed by you. Somebody to whom you can be accountable. Somebody who’s willing to keep you honest and challenge you in areas you might be neglecting.

A Timothy is a younger person into whose life you are building. For a model, read 1 and 2 Timothy. Here was Paul, the quintessential mentor, building into the life of his protégé —affirming, encouraging, teaching, correcting, directing, praying.

Do you have these three guys in your life?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  Proverbs 27:17


I Feel Like Someone Is Watching Me

eyesYears ago, Gaylon accepted a position with a church in Columbia, SC.  I stayed in Alabama to allow the children to finish the school year and then we joined him in Columbia.  As I walked into the church, I did my usual thing of heading down to the very front row to sit.   I did not sit on the front row because I had to, but because it was my preference.   The farther back one sits, the more distractions there are between a person and what’s happening on the platform.  I still don’t get people dragging in late week after week and enjoying the back row.  Oh well, another sermon for another day!

I knew almost no one in the congregation and was alone on the row.  By the time the service began, three little girls along with their grandmother, joined me.  The girls appeared to be about five, seven and nine.

Before the service began, I noticed the girls staring at me.  As the worship team began singing, I stood with everyone else to worship.  It did not take long to realize that the three girls were copying everything I was doing.  If I raised my hands, they raised their hands.  If I clapped, they clapped.  If I said, “Hallelujah!” they said, “Hallelujah!”  One time, just to check them out, I waved my hands in a funny motion, and sure enough they waved their hands in the same funny motion.   It was evident that my example was directly affecting the actions of those girls.

While I do believe and teach that we must keep our eyes on Jesus, there is a flip side to that.  We are all examples of Jesus Christ, bad or good.  There will be times that people will have their eyes on us.  The question is, “What will they see?”   Now that I have reached the ripe age of sixty, more than ever,  I walk with an awareness that I want my life to be an example of Jesus Christ.   I don’t want to just sing “Hallelujah,”  I want a life that says, “Hallelujah!” which causes others to want their lives to say “Hallelujah!”

You cannot escape being an example to others.  Your only choice is what kind of example you will be.  Someone’s eyes are on you.

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your beliefs.”     Titus 2:7  

 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”                       1 Timothy 4:12

Perspective Is Everything

Perspective is EverythingDid I ever mention that I have a granddaughter named Madison? I know, I know –only 10,000 times! Madison is almost nine years old and brings such joy and laughter to us. Michael, our son, was in the Ph.D. program at the University of Wisconsin, so Madison spent the first three years of her life in Madison, WI.

While in Wisconsin, Michael’s family lived in a small two-bedroom apartment with one tiny bathroom. When Madison would visit us, she would run around my house, or she would follow me from room to room. One day she looked at me and said, “You have a big house!” Actually, Gaylon and I don’t have a big house at all. Madison’s comment was based on her perspective of what she was experiencing in her life at that time.

Let’s fast forward to Madison’s third birthday which she spent with us in Alabama. They were actually moving to Baton Rouge, LA, where Michael took a position as an assistant professor at LSU. We went with them to Baton Rouge to  move into their brand new home. It was a nice, two-story home with two and one-half baths. It was so much fun to watch Madison run around in the large empty rooms! After we finished the move, Gaylon and I headed back to Alabama.

Several months later, Madison was visiting us again and following me around my house. She said, “Granny, your house is kind of small.” She made me laugh out loud. She was again basing the size of my house on her perspective of how she was experiencing life at the time.

PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING! Have you ever felt as if life was like an oven turned up to 500 degrees and you were inside? In times of great testing, it may seem as if God has gone on vacation without leaving a telephone number where you can reach Him. The thing I have to guard against is judging everything by what I am experiencing at the moment. It seems as though I am either basking in the sweetness of God’s grace or sweating on the hot seat of challenging circumstances. Life seems to bounce between the two. How about for you?

We have a tendency to see things from an earthly perspective, while God sees things from a heavenly perspective.  Alan Redpath stated, “There is nothing—no circumstance, no trouble, no testing—that can ever touch me until, first of all, it has gone past God and past Christ right through to me. If it has come that far, it has come with a great purpose, which I may not understand  at the moment.”

God is always at work in our lives – ALWAYS. We see the beginning, while He sees the beginning and the end. He sees the completed puzzle, whereas we see a stack of puzzle pieces lying all over the place, not knowing where each piece is supposed to fit. Our lives at times seem like the underside of a tapestry.There are lots of threads that have no rhyme or reason, colors running together, chaos.  When the tapestry is turned over one can see that every thread had a purpose in completing the picture. PERSPECTIVE IS EVERYTHING!

Isaiah 55:8 – “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”